Last night Robert Whittaker picked up another win on his quest to reclaim the middleweight championship against Kelvin Gastelum. Since losing to Adesanya at UFC 243 “The Reaper” has beaten Darren Till, Jared Cannonier and Kelvin Gastelum. In my opinion, I don’t think there’s anyone that deserves a title match more than Rob. Although he hasn’t scored a finish, he’s beaten three top 10 guys and has shown fast improvements in his striking. He’s also displayed his fight IQ in all three fights which gave him the edge in the fights against Till and Cannonier.
When it comes to Marvin Vettori, I think he’s one match away from a title shot. I don’t think just beating Jack Hermansson on short notice and Kevin Holland, who clearly isn’t at the elite level yet, justifies him gaining a rematch against Izzy. I would love to see them fight again because their first fight was extremely close, Adesanya winning by decision, but that’s only because I want to see how far both men have come since.
When it comes to who should Vettori face? I think there are three options. Darren Till, who he was meant to face instead of Kevin Holland. Paulo Costa, who will really test “The Italian Dream” as he’ll look to avenge his loss against the champ. Finally, Jared Cannonier, who we haven’t seen since losing to Whittaker at the end of last year. If Marvin wins against the former heavyweight then I think he’s inclined to demand a rematch with Izzy.
In terms of who wins those fights. I think Till vs Vettori is very close and would be a very technical fight. I believe Till’s has the advantage on the feet but Vettori has the advantage on the ground. I think Till just edges it but it’s very very close.
Vettori vs Costa, I think that would be the most exciting fight. Another close one, but I’d have Costa take the fight.
Finally, vs Cannonier, I think Marvin takes the win by TKO. He’s much more technically sound than Cannonier, who relies a lot on his power and struggles to move his head off the centre line, something that Vettori will 100% take advantage of.
The UFC middleweight division is seriously heating up once again, there are so many contenders that are one or two fights away from a title shot. We’ll definitely have to keep close tabs 185lbers over summer.